my mother recently pass away, her husband died 7 years ago. When they got married, children on both sides were grown. They had no children together.
I have my mother's last Will , in which she's living everything / it's really not a lot/ to me and my sister. My question is - do the children of my mother husband have any claim to this money in spite my mother will.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Your step-father's children are probably not able to support a claim. There are exceptions to every rule, but generally the answer is no.
You should take the original of your mother's will and file it with the clerk of the probate court for the county in which she resided on the date of her death. While filing the will is a legal requirement, I think in your circumstances it may prove helpful, You can invite your step-father's children to go to court to get an official copy of the will which should prove you're doing what you are required to do, and give them the answers they seek without having to get personally involved..
I am sorry for your loss.
If all assets passed to your mother when your step-father passed, then your mother's will would govern everything at this time. Often, spouses hold title to vehicles, accounts, homes and other assets in joint ownership with survivorship rights. In that event, your mother at the time of her death would have owned the assets. If assets were hers or they passed to her, anything she owned when she passed should fall under her will.
If your step-father had assets in his own name when he passed, it may be necessary to consider those items. If he had a will, that would govern those assets or without a will, assuming Illinois, they would belong half to his spouse (your mother) and half to his children (or the descendants of a deceased child).
If not already done, both his will, if any, and her will should be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county of residence. There is not any cost to file the will and filing it does not start probate. The law requires the will(s) to be filed promptly.
You would be advised to schedule a consultation to review everything in more detail and evaluate options such as probate, a Small Estate Affidavit, etc.